Hello everyone. I hope you are all in great health and mood. Time flies so fast! I can't believe we are in December already! It feels like yesterday we were entering 2022, and in less than 3 weeks, we are growing another year older. It's hard to believe we've been living with Covid for four years! As I'm busy with the new issue, I must admit things have gotten a little slower than I anticipated. I have to push the release of the new issue to a new date, probably somewhere in January 2023. How did paper become so expensive? It truly is. And just last week, I received an email from DHL informing me that shipping prices will rise again, this time by nearly 8% (really?). Sigh. Inflation crisis really done us all.
Anyway, I was at the Kuala Lumpur Art Book Fair last week (KLABF). It was so inspiring to see all the print enthusiasts gathered in my capital city last week. Good to see new magazines, zines, books – anything printed really. That was my first time visiting KLABF. Last year, I didn't have a chance to visit as I was out of town. It was a great annual event for the Malaysian print industry. Looking forward to seeing KLABF next year.
I flew to Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia's east coast state, the same week. If I'm being honest, it was seven years ago that I was in Kota Bharu. How crazy?! It was just an hour's flight from KL. During my visit, I had the opportunity to discover hidden stories from Kota Bharu, such as the Malay art of Kelingkan (also known as Keringkam and clinquat in French). I also went to one of the town's oldest songket makers. It is amazing to see that these dying arts are still preserved in this part of Malaysia. We should teach the young generation about this art before it disappears. Fortunately, I have the best Kelantanese team guiding me to the best spots. But frankly, I'm amazed at my ability to understand multiple languages and dialects here. Kelantan, as we Malaysians know, has a very distinct and acquired accent. Bordered with Thailand, Kelantanese have interesting dialects; a fine pronunciation between Bahasa, Thai, and English. I love it! I'll be back soon.